2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
When I was a student at Moulton Middle School I remember a new guy moving in from another state. He was a nice guy and a good athlete, we all liked him. But the girls went crazy over the new kid. He received a rush of sudden unquestionable popularity. But the really cool thing was – he knew the reason for his popularity was his novelty and he didn’t let it go to his head, but rather he held himself at a distance from people until he could distinguish between true friends and groupies.
Why does God call us to “study” for His approval? Simply because he wants us to know Who it is that we are worshipping. At times in my life I worshipped God out of novelty. At times I worshipped being more or less ignorant of whom God is. But as I study the Book I know the Author more intimately. I meditate on the character and the attributes of God. My zeal grows but it grows according to knowledge.
We went through the same progression as children as we grew in our knowledge of our parents. When we were little children we loved our parents because of their position and provision. In a lot of ways we were ignorant of our parent’s short comings. As far as we knew they walked on water. But as we grew and understood our parent more clearly and knew them more fully we loved them in a different way. Our love was freely expressed because of their person rather than their position.
Spiritual growth brings the same kind of development. We do not find any shortcomings in God because there are none. But we do learn that God may be compared (as if God could be compared to anything) to a many faceted jewel. At first we love God because he had revealed His love for us. As we grow, we love and worship the person of God according to our growing knowledge of Him.
God is not pleased if we continue to worship Him being ignorant of Who He is. Sometimes I wonder if people’s worship of God would cease or if their understanding of God grew. That really is the true test of genuine love isn’t it? To know a person fully and still love them. So study God through His Word and love Him, worship Him, obey Him, because you know Him. When God knows that you gaze at Him with an enlightened understanding of who He is, then and only then will he reveal his fullness to you. And remember, one day we will know Him even as He knows us and I can only imagine how grand our worship will be.